Toto Wolff left Miami with a “dull” feeling despite both of his drivers scoring points – the Mercedes team director said his team must “dissect” their slowdown from Friday to Sunday.
George Russell is done FP1 in second place behind Charles Leclerc, then at the top FP2 in front of the championship leader. But the new recruit lost confidence in qualifying amid heavy tides and a lack of balance, finishing 12th on Sunday before recovering at P5 after a self-admitted “case” of a late stoppage in boxing.
Despite Russell backing Lewis Hamilton in sixth place, Wolff said: “There is no happy or unhappy moment at the end of the day; it’s a little boring right now. We are the third fastest on the road – in a way on no man’s land. We had a good Friday, we have to dissect why it was, so come back.
“We’ll look at all the data we’ve generated and try to figure out why … we had really good sessions on Friday, we had a quick lap – and dissect why that is, because we’re not on top at the moment.”
Although he tried to avoid “headlines” with his comments after Miami, Wolff was brutally honest about Mercedes ’current situation. Although he supported the concept that Silver Arrows used to produce his W13, Wolff said the team is still in unseen and unfamiliar territory as it tries to regain performance.
“We were straight from the start, we flew a little in the fog. It is clear that there is potential in the car and it is fast. But we just don’t understand how to unlock potential. It is probably a car that is very difficult to drive, on the edge, immersing in and out of the performance window; more outside than inside.
“And dissecting data with a scalpel is just a painful process, because it takes a very long time and in fact the data sometimes does not show what drivers tell us and have their hands full with a car that is simply not nice to drive, comfortable to drive or predictable. . But the data doesn’t show those big swings.
“We haven’t had a situation like this before in a single year, that it just wasn’t correlated with what we see on our screens, with what the driver feels, and that makes it even harder.”
Miami Grand Prix 2022: Russell fights with teammate from Mercedes Hamilton
Looking forward to Spain, Wolff said the Grand Prix on May 22 will serve as an effective test for the team latest updateswhich they brought to Miami in an attempt to find some performance.
“We have to give our people the advantage of doubting who produced the great race cars, we believe this is the way to go, but Barcelona will definitely be a moment where we can relate to what we saw in February [in pre-season testing at the track]and collect more data.
“It also annoys me that I often say the same things, collect data and do experiments, but physics is not a mystique and so you have to separate the bones.”
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